HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — People gathered at the Pennsylvania capitol Monday — many of them armed — for the 17th annual Right to Keep and Bear Arms rally.

The event was organized by state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe of Butler County joining together with other Republican lawmakers.

Supporters are calling for an end to what they say is extreme gun control legislation.

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“I think it’s important to continue to encourage your neighbors, your families, and all of our constituents, you need to stand up to be free. You need to stay strong and stand up for your rights,” Metcalfe said. “Ultimately, in order to stay free, we need to stay armed.”

The Right to Bear Arms Act to prevent federal laws restricting guns from being enforced in Pennsylvania was introduced in the Senate, where its prime sponsor is Sen. Doug Mastriano (R), who is running to be Pennsylvania’s governor.

Metcalfe introduced the Right to Bear Arms Protection Act in the House. Both bills are still in committee.

At the rally, House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Center/Mifflin counties) noted and quoted Pennsylvania’s constitution: “Those rights shall in no way be questioned. I think that’s the part we forget to emphasize. Our founding fathers were very concise — they ‘shall not be questioned.'”

But critics do have questions. They say gun restrictions never move in Pennsylvania. House Judiciary Chair Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin County) bragged about bottling up 66 bills that resembled gun reform. Kauffman got applause from the crowd, but Philadelphia Democrat Rep. Chris Rabb doesn’t feel as supportive.

“The vast majority of Pennsylvanians support universal background checks, they support red flag laws, they support safe storage of guns,” Rabb said.

Democrats used to support and participate in this pro-gun rally when it began 17 years ago, but that is no longer the case. This year, the event was GOP-only.

“As the left has seized control of the Democratic party, I think there’s members of the Democratic party that are afraid to be seen standing up for freedom and standing up with those who are fighting for freedom,” Metcalfe said.

Rabb said, “We’re not showing up to support this bizarre performative political nonsense that occurred today. It was utterly preposterous, and it had a very pro-insurrectionist feel about it.”